Huddersfield Local History Society has been hosting monthly online talks. The latest online event focuses on some of the forgotten veterans of the First World War.
Dr Alice Brumby leads the talk entitled Veteran’s Voices: Storthes Hall and the Long Shadow of Shell Shock. The discussion touches on some of the ex-servicemen treated at Storthes Hall, the former hospital in Kirkburton.
Cyril Pearce, chair of Huddersfield Local History Society, describes the story she tells as ‘both poignant and shameful. It deals with the long-term mental health damage done during the First World War to thousands of British soldiers. What today is diagnosed as Post-traumatic stress disorder was then called shell shock.’
The story of six ex-servicemen at Storthes Hall
Dr Brumby is a lecturer in Modern History at York St John University and specialises in the 19th and 20th Century history of mental health.
Dr Brumby aspires to shed more light on what happened after the war. She believes there is an awareness of the events that impacted men during the First World War. However, there is little awareness about what happened after the war and how they experienced treatment. Dr Brumby said she ‘wanted to find what happened to the ordinary Tommy after the Armistice, what happened to the men who did not recover and were left to pick up the pieces of their lives.’
Dr Brumby tells the story of six ex-servicemen, using their own words from surviving case notes and explores the different ways in which they experienced and responded to their hospitalisation.
If you wish to know more, you can also read Dr Alice Brumby’s article online.
How to watch
Dr Brumby’s talk is available on the Huddersfield Local History Society’s YoutTube channel and is free to view. You can find the link to her talk on the Society’s website or through the Society’s YouTube channel.
It is the seventh talk in the Society’s 2020-2021 season. All the past talks are available to watch, and there are more to come! To explore the other historical talks, you can visit Huddersfield Local History Society’s website.